Proverbs 8:22
New International Version
“The LORD brought me forth as the first of his works, before his deeds of old;

New Living Translation
“The LORD formed me from the beginning, before he created anything else.

English Standard Version
“The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.

Berean Standard Bible
The LORD created me as His first course, before His works of old.

King James Bible
The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

New King James Version
“The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.

New American Standard Bible
“The LORD created me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.

NASB 1995
“The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.

NASB 1977
“The LORD possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old.

Amplified Bible
“The LORD created and possessed me at the beginning of His way, Before His works of old [were accomplished].

Christian Standard Bible
“The LORD acquired me at the beginning of his creation, before his works of long ago.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
The LORD made me at the beginning of His creation, before His works of long ago.

American Standard Version
Jehovah possessed me in the beginning of his way, Before his works of old.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
LORD JEHOVAH created me at the beginning of his creation and from before all his works.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
The Lord made me the beginning of his ways for his works.

Contemporary English Version
From the beginning, I was with the LORD. I was there before he began

Douay-Rheims Bible
The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways, before he made any thing from the beginning.

Good News Translation
"The LORD created me first of all, the first of his works, long ago.

International Standard Version
"The LORD made me as he began his planning, before his ancient activity commenced.

JPS Tanakh 1917
The LORD made me as the beginning of His way, The first of His works of old.

Literal Standard Version
YHWH possessed me—the beginning of His way, Before His works since then.

New American Bible
“The LORD begot me, the beginning of his works, the forerunner of his deeds of long ago;

NET Bible
The LORD created me as the beginning of his works, before his deeds of long ago.

New Revised Standard Version
The LORD created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago.

New Heart English Bible
"The LORD created me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

World English Bible
"Yahweh possessed me in the beginning of his work, before his deeds of old.

Young's Literal Translation
Jehovah possessed me -- the beginning of His way, Before His works since then.

Additional Translations ...
The Excellence of Wisdom
21bestowing wealth on those who love me and making their treasuries full. 22The LORD created me as His first course, before His works of old. 23From everlasting I was established, from the beginning, before the earth began.…

Cross References
Revelation 3:14
To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Originator of God's creation.

Job 28:23
But God understands its way, and He knows its place.

Job 28:26
when He set a limit for the rain and a path for the thunderbolt,

Psalm 104:24
How many are Your works, O LORD! In wisdom You have made them all; the earth is full of Your creatures.

Proverbs 3:19
The LORD founded the earth by wisdom and established the heavens by understanding.

Micah 5:2
But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, who are small among the clans of Judah, out of you will come forth for Me One to be ruler over Israel--One whose origins are of old, from the days of eternity.

Treasury of Scripture

The LORD possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.

Proverbs 3:19
The LORD by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established the heavens.

John 1:1,2
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…

Colossians 1:17
And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

(22) The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his way.--The Hebrew word translated" possessed" in this passage (q?nah) seems originally to have signified to" set up" or "establish," and is applied (1) to the "forming" of the heavens (Genesis 14:19) and the "begetting" of a son, (Deuteronomy 32:6); next it signifies (2) to "acquire" (Genesis 4:1), (3) to "purchase" (Genesis 25:10), and (4) to "own," as in Isaiah 1:3. From the fact that "set up" and "brought forth" are used just after as synonyms to it, it is most likely that (1) is the proper meaning of the word here, and that the sense of the passage is that Wisdom was "formed" or "begotten" before the Creation, comp. Psalm 104:24. This agrees with the rendering of the most important Greek translation, the Septuagint (??????). When in Christian times it was observed how well the description of Wisdom in Job and Proverbs harmonised with that of God the Son in the New Testament, such passages as this were universally applied to Him, and the present one was rightly interpreted as describing His eternal generation from the Father. Such was the view, for instance, of Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Tertullian. But when the Arian controversy arose, this phrase was seized upon by the opponents of our Lord's Divinity, and claimed as teaching that He was, though the highest of created beings, still only a creature. The Catholics then changed their ground, some standing up for the rendering of Aquila, ???????? ("acquired" or "possessed"), others applying the term ?????? to Christ's Incarnation (comp. "first-begotten among many brethren," Romans 8:29), or to His being appointed to be the first principle or efficient cause of His creatures, the "beginning of the creation of God" (Revelation 3:14). For references to the Fathers see Bishop Wordsworth's note, and, for a like variation in the rendering of "first-begotten of every creature," comp. Bishop Lightfoot's note on Colossians 1:15. . . . Verses 22-31. - Wisdom speaks of her origin, her active operations, the part which she bore in the creation of the universe, her relation to God (see on Proverbs 1:20 and Proverbs 3:19, and Introduction). It is impossible to decide what was the exact view of the writer with regard to the wisdom of which he speaks so eloquently; but there can be no doubt that he was guided in his diction so as to give expression to the idea of him whom St. John calls the Word of God. The language used is not applicable to an impersonal quality, an abstract faculty of God. It describes the nature and office of a Person; and who that Person is we learn from the later Scriptures, which speak of Christ as the "Wisdom of God" (Luke 11:49) and "the Power of God and the Wisdom of God" (1 Corinthians 1:24). If we confine our inquiry to the question - What was in the mind of the author when he indited this wonderful section concerning Wisdom? we shall fail to apprehend its true significance, and shall be disowning the influence of the Holy Spirit, which inspires all Scripture, which prompted the holy men who spake to utter words of which they knew not the full spiritual significance, and which could only be understood by subsequent revelation. There is, then, nothing forced or incongruous in seeing in this episode a portraiture of the Second Person of the blessed Trinity, the essential Wisdom of God personified, the Logos of later books, and of the gospel. This interpretation obtained universally in the Church in the earliest times, and has commended itself to the most learned and reverent of modern commentators. That much which was contained in their own utterances was unknown to the prophets of old, that they did not fully perceive the mysteries which they darkly enunciated, we learn from St. Peter, who tells us that they who prophesied of the grace of Christ sought and searched diligently what the Spirit of God that was in them did point unto, and were shown that not unto themselves, but unto us, they ministered those things, secrets which angels themselves desire to look into (1 Peter 1:10, etc.). Wisdom as a human endowment, animating all intellectual and even physical powers; Wisdom as communicating to man moral excellence and piety; Wisdom as not only an attribute of God, but itself as the eternal thought of God; - under these aspects it is regarded in our book; but under and through all it is more or less personified. Khochmah is contrasted in the next chapter, not with an abstraction, but with an actual woman of impure life - a real, not an imaginary, antagonist. The personality of the latter intimates that of the former (see Liddon, 'Bampt. Lects.,' 2.). Verse 22. - The Lord possessed me. Great controversy has arisen about the word rendered "possessed." The verb used is קָנָה (kanah), which means properly "to erect, set upright," also "to found, form" (Genesis 14:19, 22), then "to acquire" (Proverbs 1:5; Proverbs 4:5, 7, etc.) or "to possess" (Proverbs 15:32; Proverbs 19:8). The Vulgate, Aquila, Theodotion, Symmachus, Venetian, give "possessed;" Septuagint, ἔκτισε, "made," and so Syriac. The Arians took the word in the sense of "created" (which, though supported by the LXX., it seems never to have had), and deduced therefrom the Son's inferiority to the Father - that he was made, not begotten from all eternity. Ben Sira more than once employs the verb κτίζω in speaking of Wisdom's origin; e.g. Ecclus. 1:4, 9 Ecclus. 24:8. Opposing the heresy of the Arians, the Fathers generally adopted the rendering ἐκτήσατο, possedit, "possessed;" and even those who received the translation ἔκτισε, explained it not of creating, but of appointing, thus: The Father set Wisdom over all created things, or made Wisdom to be the efficient cause of his creatures (Revelation 3:14). May we not say that the writer was guided to use a word which would express relation in a twofold sense? Wisdom is regarded either as the mind of God expressed in operation, or the Second Person of the Holy Trinity; and the verb thus signifies that God possesses in himself this essential Wisdom, and intimates likewise that Wisdom by eternal generation is a Divine Personality. St. John (John 1:1), before saying that the Word was God, affirms that "the Word was with God (ὁ Λόγος η΅ν πρὸς τὸν Θεόν)." So we may assert that Solomon has arrived at the truth that Wisdom was πρὸς τὸν Θεόν, if he has left it for later revelation to declare that ἡ Σοφία or ὁ Λόγος Θεὸς η΅ν. Whichever sense we assign to the verb on which the difficulty is supposed to hang, whether we take it as "possessed," "formed," or "acquired," we may safely assume that the idea conveyed to Christian minds is this - that Wisdom, existing eternally in the Godhead, was said to be "formed" or "brought forth" when it operated in creation, and when it assumed human nature. In the beginning of his way. So the Vulgate, in initio viarum suarum. But the preposition "in" does not occur in the original; and the words may be bettor translated, "as the beginning of his way" (Septuagint, ἔκτισέ με ἀρχὴν ὁδῶν αὐτοῦ); i.e. as the earliest revelation of his working. Wisdom, eternal and uncreated, first puts forth its energy in creation, then becomes incarnate, and is now called, "the Firstborn of all creation (πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως)" (Colossians 1:15). Thus in Psalm 2:7, "Thou art my Son; this day have I begotten thee" (Hebrews 1:5); and, "When he bringeth in the Firstborn into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him" (Hebrews 1:6). In the present clause, the ways of God are his works, as in Job 26:14 and Job 40:19, where behemoth is called "chief among the ways of God" (comp. Psalm 145:17, where "ways" stands as a parallel to "works"). Before his works of old. These words are better regarded (with Delitzsch) as a second parallel object, קֶדֶם (kedem), translated "before," being not a preposition, but denoting previous existence. Hence we translate, "The foremost of his works of old;" i.e. the earliest revelation of his energy. There is a curious passage in the 'Book of Enoch,' ch. 42, which speaks of the personality and pre-existence of Wisdom, of her desire to dwell among men, frustrated by man's wickedness: "Wisdom found no place where she could dwell; therefore was her dwelling in heaven. Wisdom came forth in order to dwell among the sons of men, and found no habitation; then she returned to her place, and took her seat among the angels." We may add Wisd. 8:3, "In that she dwelleth with God (συμβίωσιν Θεοῦ ἔχουσα), she magnifieth her nobility."

Parallel Commentaries ...

יְֽהוָ֗ה (Yah·weh)
Noun - proper - masculine singular
Strong's 3068: LORD -- the proper name of the God of Israel

possessed me
קָ֭נָנִי (qā·nā·nî)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular | first person common singular
Strong's 7069: To erect, create, to procure, by purchase, to own

at the beginning
רֵאשִׁ֣ית (rê·šîṯ)
Noun - feminine singular construct
Strong's 7225: The first, in place, time, order, rank

of His work,
דַּרְכּ֑וֹ (dar·kōw)
Noun - common singular construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 1870: A road, a course of life, mode of action

קֶ֖דֶם (qe·ḏem)
Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's 6924: The front, of place, time

His deeds
מִפְעָלָ֣יו (mip̄·‘ā·lāw)
Noun - masculine plural construct | third person masculine singular
Strong's 4659: A work, something made

of old.
מֵאָֽז׃ (mê·’āz)
Preposition-m | Adverb
Strong's 227: At that time, place, therefore

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